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Stanza D'Amore brings sexy to Dickinson

Stanza D'Amore offers something found nowhere else in Dickinson: high-end lingerie. The new boutique opened in November at 46 Sims St. "I carry everyday wear, lingerie, plus-size, maternity, things like that," owner Ann-Marie Grob explained. Grob...

Stanza D'Amore owner Ann Marie Grob tidies display at her high-end lingerie shop at 46 Sims St. The store opened in November and is already receiving great acclaim. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
Stanza D'Amore owner Ann Marie Grob tidies display at her high-end lingerie shop at 46 Sims St. The store opened in November and is already receiving great acclaim. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)

Stanza D'Amore offers something found nowhere else in Dickinson: high-end lingerie.

The new boutique opened in November at 46 Sims St.

"I carry everyday wear, lingerie, plus-size, maternity, things like that," owner Ann-Marie Grob explained.

Grob was inspired to start her own business when she couldn't find a major in college that suited her.

"I just wasn't finding the thing I was clicking with," she said. "Also, I'm a very creative person. I'm always needing to write or take pictures or do something like that, and I felt like I didn't have a creative outlet."

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Grob could also see that the need existed in Dickinson.

"I was frustrated because there's nowhere for women to get products like this," she said. "So when you need something, like, say you have a backless dress and you don't have the right bra to go with it, you have to travel all the way to Bismarck or you have to order online and risk it not fitting and have to return it."

With those two elements came inspiration.

"It's was an idea of mine that, I'll just take this money I'm going to put toward my tuition and just put it into starting a business," Grob said.

The first step for Grob was research.

"Reaching out to the right people for help, that was the first thing," Grob said. "I just did lots and lots of research. There's so much information out there just how to get started, how to register with the state."

Funding came in the form of a traditional loan through Dakota Business Lending, and online through Kiva.

"Kiva is a zero percent interest loan that is funded through crowdfunding," Grob said. "Your inner circle will contribute a certain amount and that ends up being zero interest, which was really cool."

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Readying the Sims Street space took effort, as well.

"We threw up some paint, and then I had to add in dressing rooms and put up curtains," Grob said. "For me, that was the coolest part. I can look at something and visualize what I want it to be. It was just a matter of finding the right products and swatches."

Above all, Grob wanted her store to look "classy."

"My tagline is, 'Classy, sexy, you.' That's what I tried to embody with the color scheme and simplicity," she said.

The boutique's name is Italian for "room of love."

"Italian is part of my heritage. It's the part I connect with most. And it just sounded nice," Grob said. "When I was sitting there and writing down just words that I like, I just came up with it."

The response already has been positive.

Grob has especially benefited from having a suggestion box for customers.

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"That's been helpful," she said. "For instance, I didn't open with any maternity and saw there was a huge need for nursing bras and comfy pajamas. When I saw there was a need for that I was able to have a rack just like that. Also, shapewear."

At first, Grob did have some concerns about opening a lingerie boutique.

"With higher end items, I was afraid of it being a shock to people, but I've found a really good response," she said. "My customers come back and they're happy, saying, 'I washed this and it didn't fall apart, and it feels comfortable and nice.' That's been really great."

Becoming an entrepreneur has been rewarding for Grob.

"I love what I do," she said. "I get to make women feel sexy all day long. They walk out happy and confident, and I feel very fulfilled."

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